National Football League
Reviewing the first weekend of NFL free agency
National Football League

Reviewing the first weekend of NFL free agency

Published Mar. 3, 2009 6:03 a.m. ET

NFL free agency is off to a glorious start while every other profession is troubled by layoffs.

Biggest (but not best) move

The whopper of the first three days was that the Redskins "technically" made Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth the game's first $100 million defensive player. A guy who once stomped on the head of Dallas center Andre Gurode got "franchise quarterback" money in a deal that's really worth $48 million over four years. The inside word is that several other teams agreed to pay that amount or more, but that agent Chad Speck liked the idea of becoming one of owner Daniel Snyder's best buddies and enjoyed flying on his private jet.

Granted, Haynesworth is one of the game's most-dominant players, requiring constant double-teams. But over the past six seasons, he has missed 22 of 96 games and there continue to be doubts about his character, coupled with the major question of how he will respond to financial security and all this money.

Still, this could be a major win for Snyder, who doesn't have the greatest track record in free agency. Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, anyone? Snyder also gave CB DeAngelo Hall way too much money, but was fortunate to sign guard Derrick Dockery, a former Redskin.

Best move


The best move might have been Scott Pioli's trade of a second-round pick to New England for Matt Cassel, the $14.6 million quarterback, and 12-year linebacker Mike Vrabel. Even though it is difficult to believe that Pioli pulled one over on his former boss, Bill Belichick, the trade was necessary because the Chiefs are desperate for a franchise quarterback, plus a solid old pro (Vrabel) for the locker room.


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